Vermont state law defines a motorcycle as “any motor driven vehicle having a seat or saddle for the use of the rider and designed to travel on not more than three wheels in contact with the ground, but excluding motor-driven cycles, golf carts, track-driven vehicles, tractors, electric personal assistive mobility devices, and vehicles on which the operator and passengers ride within an enclosed cab, except that a vehicle which is fully enclosed, has three wheels in contact with the ground, weighs less than 1,500 pounds, has the capacity to maintain posted highway speed limits, and which uses electricity as its primary motive power.”
All motorcyclists in Vermont must obtain a motorcycle endorsement on their license. The first step to receiving this endorsement is to apply for a motorcycle learner’s permit. Applicants must be at least 16 years old, have completed a four-hour Vermont Motorcycle Awareness Program, and pass the written and vision tests. To receive their full motorcycle endorsement, applicants must later pass the motorcycle skills test. All applicants under the age of 18 will need parental consent. Also note, motorcyclists must maintain a valid motorcycle insurance policy at all times while operating a vehicle.
Motorcycle License Requirements
- At least 16 years old
- If under 18, parental consent is required
- Must hold a valid Vermont operator license, junior operator license, or commercial driver license
- Fee of $7.00 for motorcycle learner’s permit, $32.00 for a motorcycle endorsement on a two-year license, or $53.00 for a motorcycle endorsement on a four-year license
- Vision test
- Written test consisting of 25 questions
- Motorcycle skills test
Vermont requires all riders to maintain valid motorcycle insurance coverage in the case of an accident. The minimum motorcycle insurance requirements in the state are of 20/50/10. This translates to $20,000 of bodily injury coverage for injuries or death for a single individual in an accident, $50,000 of bodily injury coverage for injuries or death for multiple individuals in an accident, and $10,000 of coverage for property damage. To comply with state motorcycle insurance laws, motorcyclists must carry proof of financial responsibility with them at all times while operating the motor vehicle. Vermont riders can secure coverage via the following options:
- Buy insurance. There are many insurance companies who offer motorcycle insurance policies. Most riders choose this route, paying a monthly motorcycle insurance premium.
- Bond. Motorcyclists in Vermont can secure a bond through a surety company licensed to do business in the state. This typically requires an individual to leverage cash or real estate as proof of financial responsibility.
- Certificate of self-insurance. Individuals seeking this qualification must have at least $115,000 of net unencumbered capital to qualify for a self-insurance certificate from the state commissioner.
Motorcycle insurance cost can vary greatly from person to person depending on a number of factors. Motorcycle insurance companies calculate your premium by considering your gender, age, marital status, average mileage, location, driving history, and the type of vehicle you are looking to insure. Individuals with high mileage, an expensive vehicle, located in high-crime areas, or those with a history of traffic accidents or tickets can expect higher rates. Young unmarried men can also expect higher than average rates, since they are considered part of a high-risk demographic. Riders should also note that motorcycle insurance prices average more than ordinary car insurance because of the increased risk of operating this type of motor vehicle.
Full knowledge of and adherence to state traffic laws is an essential part of being a responsible motorcyclist. Riders who fail to follow the rules and regulations pertaining to motorcycle operation risk traffic fines, increased insurance costs, the loss of their license, or even personal injury. Several key Vermont motorcycle laws are listed below:
- Protective headgear is required for all riders.
- Footrests are required for passengers on all motorcycles.
- Handlebars cannot be more than 15 inches above the portion of the seat occupied by the operator.
- Protective eyewear is required unless the motorcycle is equipped with a windshield or screen.
- Operating a motorcycle between lanes of traffic is prohibited.
- Operating more than one motorcycle side by side in a single lane is prohibited.